…Family Call for Justice
A pregnant woman, Mary Pelemo was allegedly killed by some men in Army uniform in Magongo, Ogori/Magongo local government council area of Kogi state.
His elder brother, Idowu Ikpelemoh said her sister was felled by the stray bullet of army officer who were chasing a driver from Ibilo.
He said another passenger who was hit by bullet was rushed to Ibilo for treatment.
Narrating the situation, said , “At about 8.30 pm on Wednesday 30th December, 2020, three military patrol vehicle chased a commercial vehicle into Magongo community in Ogori/Magongo LGA in Kogi State, shooting sporadically.
“The driver of the commercial vehicle was forced to park after his vehicle was hit a number of times by the soldiers bullet and bolted into the dark, abandoning the vehicle.
“The soldiers continued their chase of the driver in the most careless and unprofessional manner, shooting without being mindful of the villagers. In the process my sister, Mary Ikpelemoh, a 33 years old mother of one was hit on the stomach.”
He said one of the the three vehicles used for the operation was a white Hillux with registration number LKJ 446 kg, while the vehicle with military colour was labelled 0014.
Idowu said inspite of their mother’s cry that her daughter had been hit, the army continued their chase, breaking into people’s houses in the most bizarre manner and asking the whereabout of the driver even when he was not a native of the community.
It was gathered that some youth who came out prevailed on the military to take the victim to the hospital which they did after a lot of arguments even as the victim was bleeding profusely, “They eventually took the victim to one Dosam Clinic after the Federal College of Education Okene which is a long distance from Magongo and abandoned our mother and the victim there.”
The victim, already weak from bleeding received only first aid at Dosam Clinic where they were advised to again take the victim to Lokoja the State capital.
It was gathered that when the Local Government Chairman, Goke Oparison heard the news, he called the Head of Vigilante in the Local Government who told him that the victim was alrewdy taken to Dosam Hospital.
“At the hospital, the Chairman arranged the Local Government Ambulance to take the victim to Lokoja. At about 2.00 a.m when the ambulance arrived, the victim was already in bad shape. She died shortly after she was put inside the ambulance. Rather than take her to Lokoja the ambulance returned her corpse to Magongo.”
The development caused serious anger as youths of the community who woke up to hear the bad news took to the street protesting the unprofessional approach of the military to the whole situation, especially that they abandoned the mother and the victim at the hospital.
The agitated youths went on to block the road by making burn fire on the highway. It took the intervention of the Local Government Chairman, the police, and some community leaders to return normalcy to the community.
However, the Local Government Chairman has assured the family that investigation to unearth the remote cause of the chase is on.
The family has deposited the corpse at the morgue, saying they will wait for the outcome of the investigation promised by the council chairman.
“Our fear is that the matter may be swept under the carpet as little or no action seem to have been taken yet.
“The father of the deceased and the entire family called on the Kogi State Government, the Commissioner of Police in Kogi State, and the high command of the military to intervene and ensure that the right thing is done as a mark of respect to the person killed and to the family who has been grieved by this unfortunate incident that befell us just before the new year.”
However, the Public Relation Officer of the Nigerian Army in Kogi state, Major Jafaru Muhammed when contacted said “the Army was not involved in any operations please,”. He said.End.